The Tata Group is scaling up innovations across the $100-billion salt-to-software conglomerate and hopes to double its patent base to over 4,000 in the next three years. The group’s top 60 projects under the innovations category are expected to deliver a financial benefit of $1.1 billion (Rs 7,040 crore) annually.
“We have 2,000 published patents in the Tata Group and there has been a dramatic increase in the last couple of years. We are headed towards doubling that number in the next three years,” said Gopichand Katragadda, group chief technology officer.
Katragadda was roped in last year by Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry from GE to act as an evangelist for innovation among others.
Tata Group runs an annual competition — Tata Innovista — that promotes innovations across group companies. Since the launch of the competition 10 years ago, there has been a 15-fold rise in innovations. Tata Innovista 2015 received 1,580 projects under the promising innovations category.
In the last few years, the Tata Group has been spending 2% of the turnover on research and development (R&D). In 2013-14, it spent Rs 16,000 crore on R&D and plans to scale up the amount in the coming years, said Mukund Rajan, member, group executive council, and brand custodian, Tata Sons.
The focus on technology and innovation would continue to play a key role in helping the group achieve global ambitions, he added.